Actress Deborah Kerr has died at the age of 86, it has been revealed today.

The star of The King and I and From Here to Eternity was an Oscar nominee on six occasions but never took home the final prize although she did win an honorary Academy award in 1994.

Famed for her red hair and typically English manner, Kerr was embroiled in controversy when filmed in a close encounter with Burt Lancaster on a beach in From Here to Eternity.

In the 1953 film, which is considered one of the most iconic of the 20th century, she played an unfaithful wife in Hawaii at the time of the Pearl Harbour attack in the second world war.

The film won eight Oscars, including best picture, and a further five nominations.

Born in Scotland in September 1921, Kerr began her career as a ballet dancer before switching to acting.

Her first major role was in Black Narcissus in 1947, in which she played a nun, and her versatility was showcased by her casting as a Bond Girl in the original Casino Royale in 1967 at the age of 47.

She also starred on stage, appearing in Chicago and Tea and Sympathy among others, and on TV, picking up an Emmy for her depiction of Emma Harte, in A Woman of Substance in 1985.

18/10/2007 16:54:28